In the world of computers, there has been a divide for the past 25 years. On one side you had people who like to use Windows and Windows based services. And on the other side you had people who like to use UNIX and UNIX based services. And then there are people who are part of the Apple family and they like their devices. While you can argue that the Apple and UNIX family are one and the same since Mac OS X is based on BSD, there is a wide gap between the two parties. But they do end up using a lot of the same tools when it comes to development.
In the last ten years there has been a merging of worlds because of the internet. While it was possible to use a full Microsoft stack for web development purposes most of the time it was not the smart thing to do. Either the cost or the time to use Microsoft products on the web made it a no go when it came to small web projects. So people who were once Microsoft only slowly started to use tools that were from the UNIX world.
For example they would use Linux to host their web sites since most Linux based hosting was cheaper. The price of Windows based hosting has come down some but still on average is not in the price range of a Linux based machine. The people from the Windows world also started to use languages that came from the UNIX world. These were languages such as Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby and others. This allowed them to be able to easily interact with the new server that they were using so that they could create dynamic web pages with ease. And they also started to pick up some of the utilities that they were using including the one I am going to talk about today which is SSH.
SSH stands for Secure Shell and it allow you to securely communicate with your server. SSH has been around for a while but more people would use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to move their files around from server to client. But FTP has a fatal flaw in which it transfers its data in clear text. That means that anyone who is in the middle of the transmission would be able to pick up the data and read it. So people who really cared about security switched over to SSH and never looked back. But unfortunately there are still a lot of Windows based developers who still only use FTP even though it has been proven to be unsecured.
If you are a web developer you should go ahead and make the move to SSH and leave FTP behind. Every time you use the protocol you are putting your data at risk. And there is really no reason for you to use it since Windows has a lot of GUI ready SSH tools ready to be used. One really useful one is called WinSCP. It allows you to stay away from the command line and it also has a familiar FTP client look to it. It is real easy to get started and if you must use FTP it also has that ability as well. But you should use it to ween off of FTP, not as a substitute FTP app.
If you want to access your server data safely then you should really be using SSH clients now. It is not that hard to get started and once you do you will be glad.